Central Okanagan parents to weigh in on back-to-school options

District says announcement to be made on approach to resuming in-class instruction in coming weeks

School district officials are working on a plan to resume in-class instruction in the Central Okanagan in the coming weeks — and they’re asking for parents’ help.

During a May 6 press conference regarding the reopening of the province, B.C. premier John Horgan acknowledged that families with young children have had to adapt to the dramatic shift brought on by the pandemic. He also said plans are in the works for how schools will resume classes.

The district said an announcement on a phased approach to resuming in-class instruction will be made in the coming weeks.

“This will not be a return to normal. With weeks left in the school year, we anticipate many kids will not return to the classroom until September,” read a statement from SD23. “But we are also exploring ways to safely get some kids back to school before the summer, to allow more parents to return to work. How these changes unfold are the focus of intensive discussion among the Ministry of Education officials, school trustees, the BC Teachers’ Federation, CUPE, and other education sector partners.”

To develop that plan, they’re turning to parents, who are invited to participate in an online brainstorming session.

The ThoughtExchange page will allow parents to anonymously submit their own ideas, as well as view and rate the ideas of others.

Some of the most popular ideas thus far call for the district to allow the return to be optional, allowing parents to have their kids continue learning from home. Another person suggested that making it optional may unfairly increase the workload of teachers, who would have to do both in-class and online lessons.

The data will be used to assist the district in devising a plan to move forward.

READ MORE: New SD23 capital plan suggests replacing Rutland Middle School

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@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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